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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2010 Sep 30;62(12):1175-86. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2010.08.008. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Methods to assess stem cell lineage, fate and function.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA.


Stem cell therapy has the potential to regenerate injured tissue. For stem cells to achieve their full therapeutic potential, stem cells must differentiate into the target cell, reach the site of injury, survive, and engraft. To fully characterize these cells, evaluation of cell morphology, lineage specific markers, cell specific function, and gene expression must be performed. To monitor survival and engraftment, cell fate imaging is vital. Only then can organ specific function be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of therapy. In this review, we will discuss methods for evaluating the function of transplanted cells for restoring the heart, nervous system, and pancreas. We will also highlight the specific challenges facing these potential therapeutic areas.

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